Facial recognition software for pathogens

Company: Pictura Bio
Sector: Health & Life Sciences
Competition:  Future Economy Investor Partnerships
Funding Secured: ~£700k


Pictura Bio is creating the first universal testing platform to provide accurate, digital imaging-based identification of infectious diseases.

Faster, simpler and more cost-effective than conventional molecular diagnostics, PIC-ID is moving infectious disease testing out of the lab and taking it anywhere it’s needed.

It combines molecular labelling, computer vision and machine learning to create a universal diagnostic platform that looks directly at a patient sample and can identify which pathogen is present in a matter of seconds.

This is not just a faster lateral flow test or respiratory infection PCR panel – it’s a fundamentally different way of identifying ALL infectious agents.

The market problem

Current diagnostic approaches for virus detection, such as virus culture, RT-PCR, or antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests, are often hampered by long waiting times or limited sensitivity/specificity (e.g. Lateral Flow Tests), require extensive user training, are expensive, are limited to a narrow range of pathogens that can be detected, and take months to respond to new outbreaks.

As a result, there is an urgent need for straightforward, fast, sensitive, broad, unspecified viral detection methods.

The project and its impact

This project focuses on the development of Pictura Bio’s diagnostic platform, providing a step-change in cost reduction and delivering laboratory quality results at the point of care. With VISTa small enough to fit on a desk, this technology can be rolled out to a wide variety of users such as emergency departments, GPs, and pharmacies.

Patients can be diagnosed rapidly at a low cost, which will help to reduce antibiotic overuse, protect vulnerable patients, and reduce hospital stays by enabling earlier treatment.

Suitable for utilisation by non-clinical experts beyond clinical settings, the platform can be rapidly deployed, improving global accessibility to ultra-fast, accurate infectious disease diagnostics for routine use as well as rapid response to new outbreaks.


Granted have been incredibly easy to work with and this is our third successful application with them in the last 18 months. Their consultants do extensive research behind the scenes and lead proposal development from the front. An impressively professional service. – Alex Batchelor, CEO at Pictura Bio